ANA Mileage Club sweet spots for award travel (economy or business class)

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ANA Mileage Club sweet spots make ANA the most valuable American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner if you value international travel on Star Alliance airlines, particularly in premium cabins. ANA offers the best pricing to many destinations as seen in our guides to the best ways to get to various regions using miles and they offer an incredible round-the-world chart for those looking to make an extended trip to multiple destinations. While the sweet spots for travel on Star Alliance abound, pricing is even better in situations where you can exclusively fly ANA. Overall, if you can avoid partners with high fuel surcharges and accept the round trip booking requirement and if you only need to book awards for close family members, ANA offers some of the strongest sweet spots in award travel.

ANA Mileage Club sweet spots
Business class on ANA is certainly decent even in the old configuration shown above. The new cabins look significantly better than this if you are lucky enough to travel one of the routes they fly.

A note about first class redemptions

ANA’s pricing sweet spots are decidedly skewed towards business class. First class pricing is most often less compelling. In fact, if you are interested in flying first class on ANA, the best deal using miles comes not from ANA Mileage Club but rather from Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. That’s because Virgin Atlantic charges just 55K each way in first class from the west coast of the US to Japan on ANA or 60K each way for first class from the east coast to Japan on ANA. Booking directly through ANA would cost more miles and ANA would require a round trip booking, whereas Virgin Atlantic now allows one-way ANA first class awards.

ANA’s major quirks: family booking + hard expiration policy

ANA Mileage Club sweet spots

While it is mildly annoying that ANA Mileage Club requires round trip bookings for award flights, the biggest quirk / limitation of the program is the inability to book awards for those outside of your family. ANA only allows a member to book award tickets for the primary member or the primary member’s “spouse or same-sex partner and relatives within two degrees of family relationship”. They define those eligible as your spouse or same-sex partner, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. This means that booking an award ticket for a friend or more distant family member or an employee / nanny / etc would not be allowed per the rules. You need to register eligible award ticket users and their family relationships in advance. My understanding based on anecdotal reports is that unlike Korean Airlines, ANA does not require documentation of your family ties, but YMMV.

The other major downside of ANA Mileage Club is that miles expire at the end of the 36th month after they are earned. New activity does not reset the clock. In other words, once you transfer to ANA, you need to use your miles within 3 years or lose them.

Links to ANA award charts

See award charts for travel on ANA here and for travel on partner airlines here. Note that seasonality (low / regular / high) only applies to flights on ANA and the date ranges for each time period can be found near the top of the page with ANA award charts under “Seasonality charts”.

Collecting miles

Transfer points

The most common way to collect miles in ANA Mileage Club is via transfers from Amex Membership Rewards. ANA is also a Marriott Bonvoy transfer partner which could be attractive for those flush with Marriott points. Keep in mind that transfers to ANA are not instant. This can be frustrating since award availability could change between the time you initiate the transfer and the time when the miles post to your account (typically 2-3 days from Membership Rewards and a week or more from Marriott Bonvoy).

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer RatioChase Transfer RatioCiti Transfer RatioMarriott Transfer RatioCapital One Transfer RatioBrex Transfer Ratio
ANA Mileage Club1 to 160K to 25K

Shopping portal

ANA also has a shopping portal called ANA Global Mall, which features a collection of stores that includes many foreign options as well as popular US favorites. Unfortunately, payout rates tend to be low and awkward compared to conventional portals (i.e. 12 miles per $10 spent rather than a simpler 1.2 miles per dollar spent).

Credit Card

ANA offers an awful credit card that comes with 5,000 bonus miles after first purchase (and occasionally an additional bonus of 3,000 miles after approval). Given the plethora of cards that earn Membership Rewards points and offer better welcome bonuses and return for ongoing spend, the ANA Mileage Club credit card just isn’t worth it

ANA Mileage Club sweet spots (economy class)

Africa

  • The short story: ANA has the hands-down cheapest award pricing between North America and Africa/Middle East on Star Alliance airlines (note that they include almost all of Africa in their definition).
  • Miles required: 65K round trip in economy class. Fuel surcharges are passed on, but can be avoided with the right partners. Find partners that do not add fuel surcharges in this post: How To Find Business Class Awards To Europe For 88,000 Miles Or Points.
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at ANA’s website. (you’ll need to create a free ANA Mileage Club account and log in to search for space)
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA’s website.
  • Key warnings: You must book round trip. High fuel surcharges are assessed by some carriers, others have none or low fuel surcharges (avoid Lufthansa-group airlines to avoid high fuel surcharges). The ANA website interface is not particularly user-friendly or modern-looking, so it may take some time to get used to the search features.
  • No fuel surcharges on: Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa Airlines, United
  • Low fuel surcharges on: ANA, Asiana, LOT Polish, Turkish (higher than the others but low by comparison to some)
  • Transfer from: AmexMarriott

Asia

  • The short story: ANA charges incredibly low prices for round trip travel on its own flights, particularly during "low" season, and competitive rates on partner airlines.
  • Miles required: From 40K miles round trip in economy class during low season on ANA between the US and Japan (55K regular season / 60K high season). The rest of Asia on partners ranges from 60K-80K round trip. Fuel surcharges are passed on, but can be quite reasonable to/from Japan and some other destinations. See award charts for travel on ANA here and for travel on partner airlines here.
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at ANA's website. (you’ll need to create a free ANA Mileage Club account and log in to search for space)
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA's website.
  • Key warnings: You must book round trip. High fuel surcharges are assessed by some carriers, others have none or low fuel surcharges. The ANA website interface is not particularly user-friendly or modern-looking, so it may take some time to get used to the search features. Low and regular season pricing only applies to itineraries entirely on ANA. Star Alliance awards or those mixing ANA and Star Alliance carriers price at high season rates.
  • No fuel surcharges on: Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Etihad, United
  • Low fuel surcharges on: ANA, Asiana, LOT Polish, Turkish (higher than the others but low by comparison to some)
  • Transfer from: Amex, Marriott

Europe

  • The short story: ANA charges an excellent rate for round trip Star Alliance flights to Europe which is particularly good for those looking to take advantage of a free stopover on a round trip.
  • Miles required: 55K round trip in economy class. Fuel surcharges are passed on, but are avoidable with the right carriers. See: How To Find Business Class Awards To Europe For 88,000 Miles Or Points for info on the business class sweet spot that is applicable to economy class as well.
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at ANA’s website. (you’ll need to create a free ANA Mileage Club account and log in to search for space)
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA’s website.
  • Key warnings: You must book round trip. High fuel surcharges are assessed by some carriers, others have none or low fuel surcharges. The ANA website interface is not particularly user-friendly or modern-looking, so it may take some time to get used to the search features. Note that transfers to ANA are not instant. Transfers typically take 2-3 days from Amex Membership Rewards or a week or more from Marriott, so there is risk of award space disappearing while you wait for a transfer.
  • No fuel surcharges on: Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Etihad, United
  • Low fuel surcharges on: ANA, Asiana, LOT Polish, Turkish (higher than the others but low by comparison to some)
  • Transfer from: Amex Membership RewardsMarriott Bonvoy

South America

  • The short story: ANA offers one of the best deals for economy class travel to South America, particularly for those looking toward the southern half of the continent. The catch is that you must book round trip.
  • Miles required: 55K miles round trip on Star Alliance carriers between North and South America (United / Copa / Avianca).
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at United.com (Note: Do not log in — logging in may show you expanded availability based on your credit card or elite status that is not available for partner bookings) or ANA's website (though ANA requires searches to be round trip, so it is easier to find availability by searching one way at United first).
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA.
  • Key warnings: Note that transfers to ANA are not instant. Transfers typically take 2-3 days from Amex Membership Rewards or a week or more from Marriott, so there is risk of award space disappearing while you wait for a transfer. While ANA does pass along fuel surcharges, there shouldn't be any on the Star Alliance carriers serving South America (United, Avianca, Copa).
  • Transfer from: AmexMarriott

ANA Mileage Club sweet spots (premium cabins)

Africa

  • The short story: ANA's round trip business class pricing to Africa is far better than what most programs would charge for the same flights.
  • Miles required: 104K round trip in business class. Fuel surcharges are passed on, but can be avoided with the right partners. Find partners that do not add fuel surcharges in this post: How To Find Business Class Awards To Europe For 88,000 Miles Or Points.
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at ANA’s website. (you’ll need to create a free ANA Mileage Club account and log in to search for space)
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA’s website.
  • Key warnings: You must book round trip. High fuel surcharges are assessed by some carriers, others have none or low fuel surcharges. The ANA website interface is not particularly user-friendly or modern-looking, so it may take some time to get used to the search features. Note that transfers to ANA are not instant. Transfers typically take 2-3 days from Amex Membership Rewards or a week or more from Marriott, so there is risk of award space disappearing while you wait for a transfer.
  • No fuel surcharges on: Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa Airlines, United
  • Low fuel surcharges on: ANA, Asiana, LOT Polish, Turkish (higher than the others but low by comparison to some)
  • Transfer from: Amex, Marriott

Asia

  • The short story: ANA charges 75K round trip between North America and Japan for business class flights on ANA metal during low season, 85K RT during regular season, or 90K RT during high season. Star Alliance awards are charged at high season rates. A stopover is allowed.
  • Miles required: From 75K round trip in business class. Fuel surcharges are passed on, but can be quite reasonable to/from Japan and some other destinations.
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at ANA's website. (you’ll need to create a free ANA Mileage Club account and log in to search for space)
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA's website.
  • Key warnings: You must book round trip. High fuel surcharges are assessed by some carriers, others have none or low fuel surcharges. The ANA website interface is not particularly user-friendly or modern-looking, so it may take some time to get used to the search features. Low and regular season pricing only applies to itineraries entirely on ANA. Star Alliance awards or those mixing ANA and Star Alliance carriers price at high season rates.
  • No fuel surcharges on: Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Etihad, United
  • Low fuel surcharges on: ANA, Asiana, LOT Polish, Turkish (higher than the others but low by comparison to some)

Europe

  • The short story: ANA offers the hands-down best deal for round trip business class to Europe on Star Alliance airlines.
  • Miles required: 88K round trip in business class. Fuel surcharges are passed on, but are avoidable with the right carriers. See: How To Find Business Class Awards To Europe For 88,000 Miles Or Points.
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at ANA’s website. (you’ll need to create a free ANA Mileage Club account and log in to search for space)
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA’s website.
  • Key warnings: You must book round trip. High fuel surcharges are assessed by some carriers, others have none or low fuel surcharges. The ANA website interface is not particularly user-friendly or modern-looking, so it may take some time to get used to the search features. Note that transfers to ANA are not instant. Transfers typically take 2-3 days from Amex Membership Rewards or a week or more from Marriott, so there is risk of award space disappearing while you wait for a transfer.
  • No fuel surcharges on: Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Etihad, United
  • Low fuel surcharges on: ANA, Asiana, LOT Polish, Turkish (higher than the others but low by comparison to some)
  • Transfer from: Amex Membership Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy

Oceania

  • The short story: ANA offers the best deal out of Membership Rewards partners for business class between North America and Oceania and also offers a wide range of partner options. You can route via Canada or most of east / Southeast Asia or fly Air New Zealand.
  • Miles required: From 105K round trip in business class on ANA metal during low season up to 120K round trip in business class on Star Alliance partners or during high season. ANA has eliminated fuel surcharges on many/most of its flights, making routing on ANA an even better deal.
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at ANA’s website. (you’ll need to create a free ANA Mileage Club account and log in to search for space)
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA’s website.
  • Key warnings: You must book round trip. High fuel surcharges are assessed by some carriers, others have none or low fuel surcharges. The ANA website interface is not particularly user-friendly or modern-looking, so it may take some time to get used to the search features. Note that transfers to ANA are not instant. Transfers typically take 2-3 days from Amex Membership Rewards or a week or more from Marriott, so there is risk of award space disappearing while you wait for a transfer.
  • No fuel surcharges on: ANA (many/most routes, though a few still have surcharges) United (no surcharges to Europe; unfortunately, they do have charges to Asia), Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa, Ethiopian, TAP Air Portugal, or Singapore
  • Low fuel surcharges on: LOT Polish
  • Moderate surcharges on: Asiana, LOT Polish, Turkish (higher than the others but low by comparison to some)
  • Transfer from: Amex, Marriott

South America

  • The short story: ANA offers one of the best deals for round trip business class awards to South America. Unlike other programs, they do not split South America into two regions. The catch is that you must book round trip.
  • Miles required: 88K miles round trip on Star Alliance carriers between North and South America (United / Copa / Avianca).
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at United.com (Note: Do not log in — logging in may show you expanded availability based on your credit card or elite status that is not available for partner bookings) or ANA's website (though ANA requires searches to be round trip, so it is easier to find availability by searching one way at United first).
  • How to book awards: Book online at ANA.
  • Key warnings: Note that transfers to ANA are not instant. Transfers typically take 2-3 days from Amex Membership Rewards or a week or more from Marriott, so there is risk of award space disappearing while you wait for a transfer.
  • Transfer from: AmexMarriott

Around the World

  • The short story: ANA (a Star Alliance airline) offers an incredible around-the-world award chart that offers some amazing value to those who have the time for a big multi-stop trip.
  • Miles required: Varies based on cabin and distance. Business class is probably the sweet spot, with some amazing redemptions possible for 115K, 125K, or 145K miles (see the chart below for all distance bands and prices).
  • Transfer points fromAmerican Express Membership Rewards (1:1) or Marriott Bonvoy (3:1, but get a 5K bonus when you convert 60K Marriott points — so 60K Marriott = 25K ANA).
  • Award availability: Star Alliance award space is often plentiful for flights outside of the US, making it relatively easy to put together an itinerary if you’ve locked down your flights to and from the US.
  • How to find awards: Search united.com segment by segment to find availability.
  • How to book awards: Book over the phone with ANA Mileage Club.
  • No fuel surcharges on: ANA (many/most routes, though a few still have surcharges) United (no surcharges to Europe; unfortunately, they do have charges to Asia), Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa, Ethiopian, TAP Air Portugal, or Singapore
  • Low fuel surcharges on: LOT Polish
  • Moderate surcharges on: Asiana, LOT Polish, Turkish (higher than the others but low by comparison to some)

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Sago

I’m seeing availability on both united and aeroplan for business class but not on ANA. Should i call them?

Eric

I just booked a round trip award with my ANA miles flying on TAP and Turkish. Do you have any tips on assigning seats for these flights? I’ve gone to the TAP and Turkish sites to enter the PNR I received from ANA but it says I’m unable to access. Is this because I’m trying mere minutes after booking and I should try again in a day or two, or do I have to follow some other process to assign seats?

Thanks for everything!

Andy Shuman

I’ve booked ANA flights for a few people. It doesn’t.

My understanding based on anecdotal reports is that unlike Korean Airlines, ANA does not require documentation of your family ties, but YMMV.

Frank

So, one can book for a granparent but not a grandchild?

Kirk

Any strong opinion on whether premium economy class is a good deal versus economy? I’m seeing 62k for low season, 72k for regular season on ANA. Obviously biz class is significantly better a deal, but it’s very difficult to find enough award space to travel as a family (3+ seats).

Wanderlove

Really helpful post, Nick! I’m curious what your opinion is about travel to Vietnam and Cambodia during December of this year. Both countries are currently not open for tourism, but it is tempting to book now………

WR2

Basically biz class anywhere RT or RTW is their sweet spot. But be prepared to pay more in fees than with other carriers… that’s the tradeoff. The other trade-off is in pre-Covid times availability was extremely tight, and they weren’t good at opening up availability 2-3 weeks out like Cathay and JAL would.

WR2

I just priced out a USA-Asia RT, fees were around $250. That’s half what they used to be on ANA, used to be $500+, but still more than booking through CX, AS, AA, or EVA. It’s still a great deal no doubt, but who knows when/if they go back to their old fee structure. Given better availability than pre-covid times and low(er) fees, it’s a great time to book on ANA now.

Phil

How much of a risk is it to have a 2-3 day wait for points to transfer? Is there a way to put the flight you want on hold during that time? A lot can happen in 2-3 days in the crazy world of P&M!

LarryInNYC

It’s a risk. Trust me!

EricF

Thanks- very useful and informative! “New activity does not reset the clock” sounds like a very hard expiration policy. Is there zero way to extend miles? Holding their credit card, using their shipping portal, transferring in more miles, flying ANA, crediting partner flights to ANA?

Amy

But what’s the trick of using ANA to book Star Alliance business class to Europe? I tried a variety dates (near and far) but no availability! Whereas for Asia, there’s always availability when schedule is first released.

Amy

Yes, round trip, and United doesn’t have availability either, so it’s not an ANA issue. So the question is really how to score a Star Alliance business seat to Europe? Early birds are not rewarded, it seems.

Ed. C

It must be your dates/destination. I’m seeing plenty of availability in late fall early winter.

Amy

You are both right Nick and Ed. The dates were the issue. However, I priced out an identical itinerary on both United and ANA. The taxes and fees are $200 on United and $350 on ANA. This is using a hub airport as ANA doesn’t show my home airport either like in Ed’s case. Points are 126k and 88k respectively, so still a better deal with ANA, though less compelling due to the higher fees and less convenient airport.

Amy

United and Lufthansa outbound and just United on the return, but you are definitely right about the miles! 🙂 Also my URs go towards Hyatt, so this would be a good use of the MRs.

Ed. C

Does booking biz class to Europe depend on award seat availability on the carrier you will be flying on? I’ve been doing research/planning for a trip to LHR in December and find plenty of availability on ANA flying on UA, but UA doesn’t show the same availability. Just want to be sure it’s not the same situation as the TK sweet spots where the availability has to be showing on UA in order to book.

Ed. C

I searched again and I must have missed the flight I was looking for on UA. Now, the problem is I can see availability from my home airport to LHR on UA but it is all mixed class and those don’t show up on ANA. Any work around other than a positioning flight?

Andre

Great post!